Silhouette of man with crossed sabers and 10 and H at base of round picture frame.

NPS/ E. Grover & K. Pontius

Quick Facts

Significance:
Buffalo Soldier
Place of Birth:
Delphi, Indiana
Date of Birth:
July 1865
Place of Death:
State Welfare Home, Delaware
Date of Death:
November 9, 1951
Place of Burial:
Smyrna, Delaware
Cemetery Name:
Union Cemetery

Charles Lincoln Terry had a long military career that spanned the southwestern United States to Cuba and the Philippines. In a time when it was not easy to travel overseas, Terry was able to see the world.

While Terry was stationed at Bonita Canyon, in Arizona Territory, he was a Private, but by the end of his career, he had spent more than fifteen years as a Trumpeter in various military bands.  Terry was among more than 60 soldiers who carved their names or initials into stone which composed a stone monument to President Garfield. In the 1920s, these stones were incorporated into the fireplace at Faraway Ranch. Almost immediately after leaving Bonita Canyon, Terry and a few other soldiers were involved with capturing Chief Mangus, the last major Chiricahua Apache chief, on October 18, 1886. Terry received a commendation from Brigadier General N.A. Miles for “valuable service rendered in the capture.”

During the Spanish-American War, Terry participated in the Battle of El Caney and San Juan Hill. Later he was with the Foreign Service and the 10th Cavalry, and then was stationed in the Philippines with the 25th Infantry. In 1911 Terry was discharged for disability because of pulmonary emphysema incurred during line of duty— blowing on brass instruments. He spent 27 years in the military, and in 1919 Terry married Grace Clayton. He was 49 and she was 25, but they remained married until Terry’s death in 1951.

In a letter to the Veteran’s Administration, Grace, Terry’s wife of 31 years, writes, “Years ago he had a barber shop he managed but was not able to work but a little himself. But he was a first class barber and taught four other men. I was always proud that he was willing to teach others what he knew. He was a good husband, but always had bad health.” 

Much of Terry's biographical information was first compiled in Warriors of Color, by Harold Ray Sayre. If you have any information about Charles Lincoln Terry, or any other soldier stationed here, we would be glad to hear from you. Please email us.

Last updated: June 2, 2018